Just in time for Halloween my fright night horrors that I come across when dealing with therapists and their websites.
For many years the general public have considered hypnotherapy to be a non serious profession. Yeah it is ok to use on TV when you are making fun of people but as a serious therapy the vast majority would rather get their teeth pulled out at the dentist than see a hypnotherapist to resolve their problems. Some of us are slowly trying reverse this perception by upping standards in the courses and education as well as by educating people in the media, online or even face to face. BUT there are a small number of hypnotherapists who just don’t get it and are jumping on the hypnotherapy bandwagon and trying to do things on the cheap and it still shocks me that the modern profession has training schools that send their students out to meet the general public with this attitude. Here are just some of the unbelievable things I have encountered lately whilst working with therapy marketing students.
Professionalism – I won’t name and shame but I recently booked in a newly qualified hypnotherapist for a series of marketing sessions. This was to take place via Facetime or Skype. On the morning of the session I started the session to see that they were sat ready to start the session in their car! If that wasn’t bad enough the car was located in a fast food outlets car park. What the hell!!
How on earth am I or for that matter the general public going to take a therapist seriously who thinks it is ok to conduct coaching sessions in the car park of a fast food chain? What message does that send to me? It says I can’t be bothered taking time out of my day to work on my business seriously and I am cramming you in before doing something else. If you truly serious about your profession then sessions need to be conducted in a space that is suitable for the person you are going to meet. No therapy, marketing, coaching or business meeting is suitable for discussions in a car. This goes for your clients as well. Unbelievable as this may sound one of my clients also wanted to conduct a Skype session from her car as well. It is time for this madness to stop.
Courses – Time and time again I hear on from my students that they chose a course because it was cheap. Another student of mine when questioned on their qualifications was not able to tell me if they could even get into a reputable UK professional body. They had no clue because they had gone on a churn and burn course online. No medical doctor looks for the cheapest course they can find. They look at the best possible medical schools they can get into for the best possible training as they are saving lives. In a way we are also doing the same. If we can get someone to lose weight, stop smoking, tolerate chemo or stop an addiction we can do the same. So why oh why does our industry attract people who think they have the ability to do this after a few online lessons and a tiny fee? Research your courses, talk to the professional bodies and then pick the absolute best there is!
Websites – One of my personal hatreds is seeing a website that has been thrown up by a therapist in the hope that it will do. No it won’t do as it looks awful and your clients will think the same. If your pictures are out of proportion, if you have big gaps in your template, if your fonts vary significantly or you have areas where links are broken then they need to be fixed now. Who wants to look at a website that is a mess? A website does not have to cost the earth if you know what you are doing. If you don’t then get help. My Turn Your Therapy Website into a Client Magnet online course shows you exactly what you need on your website in order for it to be a success. This is essential information and most hypnotherapists don’t know this important information.
Another of my students started our sessions together and showed me a website that a developer had created for them for hundreds of pounds. The website consisted of one page! Talk about throwing your money down the drain. To top it all the website was on a developers system so it can’t be altered easily. In this case the website was scrapped and we will have to start again. If you don’t want to make these costly mistakes get help before you start.
Spelling and Grammar – Whilst we are on the topics of websites how many of you have really proof read your sites? You can get away with the odd typo of course but every now and again I come across a website that is littered with problems. I saw one of the worst possible yesterday where nearly every sentence had an issue. What would a potential client do if they came across the same? Well I can tell you that my first instinct would be that if a hypnotherapist can’t do basic spelling then I don’t want to see them. How could they possibly solve my problem if they couldn’t even get some basics right? Get an educated proof reader to look through your work and run everything through a spell checker online. It won’t catch everything but it will certainly iron out most of the problems.
Dress – Appearance is everything in this profession as if we are dressed right then we will inspire confidence in our clients. Now that does not mean a formal suit in every case (even though in certain clinics or locations this would be expected) but certainly smart clothing. Yet many therapists dress inappropriately. Flip flops, jeans, dirty or scruffy clothes, slippers and so on. If this is you it is time to smarten up now. Just because you are self employed does not mean you can get away with this.
Location – Many years ago I went for a therapy session at a woman’s house in North London. When I was there I couldn’t pay any attention to what she was saying because I was staring at her carpet which needed a hoover badly. I never returned for another session. I have left clinics because of problems with toilets, moths, cats and general cleanliness. Luckily I am now in the position to have my own clinic attached to my home which is spotlessly clean, spacious and quiet. You need to make sure that you have the same. If you work from home then the space has to be absolutely appropriate for the therapy to take place. So no animals, dirty washing, interruptions or general mess. If you can’t provide this in your home then find a suitable professionally run clinic and believe me they are not always easy to find.
Copyright Issues and Plagarism – I have just finished off a conversation with a potential marketing client who was looking for help to grown their hypnotherapy business in the UK. As with all these calls the first thing I do is check if the person has a website and then I went to have a look. Imagine my shock when I saw that their logo was also identical to mine, same keyword and similar colour and style. Now I didn’t get angry at the person on the phone. They were naive sure but they had not thought to check if the work they had been given was really original. In fact I have experienced this before when a website designer had copied the wording on every single page of my website (yeah I caught him as well)! Be aware that you can’t go stealing other peoples names, content or designs otherwise you will be getting legal letters before you know it.
Lying – If you are creating a website only put in your real experience and qualifications. I have just come across another student who claimed they were a master practitioner, one of the elite in the profession and so on. This person had not seen one client. Lying about your qualifications and experience is a good way to end up in court when your clients find out that you haven’t a clue! Google in the UK certainly is coming down heavily on holistic therapists at the moment and is banning websites from paid advertising that don’t have significant disclaimers on every page where they make a claim. The Advertising Standards Agency is also waiting to pounce on those who are misleading the general public and making outrageous claims. There are ways to write content without admitting you are a novice and without lying about your experience. Use them and stay on the right side of the law.
Giving up the Day Job Without Real Consideration – A marketing client just spoke to me about how they had sunk £2000 into their website and still were not appearing in the search engines. They admitted they were not particularly literate with computers and were no sales person and the money was running out. What were they going to do? The simple answer was pay someone to teach you or go back to work. So yeah hypnosis, reiki, counselling is your passion but if you have no business skills then do not be naive. You have to get clients through the door and throwing money at an expensive website is not going to help! Many of my students can be up and running by spending less than a couple of hundred pounds at most. Talk about throwing money down the drain. Spend your money wisely on someone who can actually help rather than second guessing how you are going to make a living in this industry.
Stop your website and business featuring in my tales or horror next Halloween and get professional help to get things right. Simply contact me to get more information on how you can build an awesome business that attracts customers the right way.